Clemson University

From October 2010 Newsletter:

Clemson News from Kate Schwennsen, FAIA

Kate Schwennsen, FAIA
Professor and Chair, School of Architecture, Clemson University

  • Our 351 students include the largest number of graduate students in attendance since 2001.  
  • Our students and faculty are taking full advantage of the opportunities of our fluid campus, in Genoa, Barcelona, Charleston and Clemson, as they use these bases of operation to explore the wonderful uniqueness of the local and its interconnectedness with the global.  We are experimenting with some online courses to better connect our dispersed community, and to leverage the learning opportunities the Fluid Campus provides.
  • Student leadership and engagement is remarkable.  The AIAS chapter is amazingly energetic, and has completed its first Firm Crawl of the year.  For more information about their activities check out their blog at, blog:  A group of graduate students is forming a new student organization, Graduate Architecture Student Society (GASS), to best represent the needs and voice of our growing  and increasingly diverse graduate student population.  GASS and AIAS are working together on several fronts.
  • Faculty continue to excel as teachers and scholars, with a list of awards, sponsored projects, publications, and public service projects far too long to include herein.  Suffice it to say that this is a very productive faculty, and getting more so all the time.
  • The renovation of existing Lee Hall and construction of the new addition to Lee Hall is in full throttle.  I know.  It’s right outside my office window.  The completed facility will provide us with an enviable home base.  Follow construction on the webcam,, (and you may even see me in my office).
  • And finally, we are engaged in strategic and budget planning.  The university has launched its 2020 planning cycle as a grounds-up process, from the departments and schools up to the Provost and President.  Like all units on campus, we have been asked to plan and prioritize in response to the rapidly changing context of higher education, including the possibility of a 20% reduction in our budget over the next three years.  We, the faculty and staff and students in Architecture, are taking this challenge very seriously, and using it as an opportunity to have rigorous, informed and ambitious discussions about the future of this school and our role in educating future architects, generating new knowledge, and advocating for the improvement of the built, natural, and social environments in South Carolina and beyond.  Our Sept. 18th retreat was a very important step in this process.

    September 18 Retreat, Clemson

A Message from AIAS President, Stephen Parker

Stephen N. Parker, President, Clemson AIAS

Dear AIA South Carolina,

I’d like to take this moment to thank the AIA/SC for allowing us to highlight the happenings of the Clemson AIAS. We’re much obliged for the opportunity and the continued support South Carolina’s architects.

In our efforts to promote mentorship, professionalism, and membership engagement, the Clemson University Chapter of the AIAS collaborated with our local AIA component to host a Firm Crawl in nearby Greenville, SC early this September. AIA Greenville was instrumental in accomplishing this fall's Firm Crawl. From scheduling firms to enlisting local AIA members as guides, having such an open line of communication to local architects was paramount to our success. Themed as "Get REAL", the Firm Crawl intended to inform our members as to what firms are looking for in new interns or employees, the difference in work environments between the profession and academia as well as what skill sets individual firms utilize. We proposed a number of questions to the firms beforehand concerning views on internship, hiring and work portfolio to start the dialog as the students walked through each office and engaged employees. As well, we worked with our faculty to allow our members to go during studio time for this event and not surprisingly, we had quite a turnout.

We leveraged our close relationship with Greenville architects, many of whom are Clemson alums, to choose a total of 7 firms to be toured by 40 Clemson AIAS members.  With so many students on the tour, 3 groups circulated in shifts for the afternoon.  To help blur the lines between the grade levels, we encouraged interaction between the year levels by representing all year levels in each group.  This cross-pollination of perspectives is just one more way to further engage the membership and enrich their academic experience.  The Firm Crawl worked hard to expose our members to the wider world of practicing architecture and promoting professionalism within the studio environment.  Our members had quite a time, enjoying the hospitality of the firms and local architects, each graciously opening their doors and freely giving advice.  We're very much looking forward to hosting another Firm Crawl this spring.

Stephen N. Parker

President, Clemson AIAS




Congratulations to the 2010 Scholarship Recipients

AIA South Carolina and Clemson Advancement Foundation (CAF) are proud to announce that the following students were selected to receive scholarships for the fall and spring semesters of 2010.  The scholarships were funded by both State and National Components of the American Institute of Architects as well as our local sections.


Xiaokang He Maxwell Streeter Christopher Felegie Michael Neizer
Adrian Mora Jason Drews Wendy Bertani  

The American Institute of Architects is the voice of the architecture profession and the resource for its members in service to society.
Contact AIA South Carolina - 803.252.6050 - 1522 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201